Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to pinpoint and even fix plenty of dishwasher issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You might realize you can resolve the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you eventually do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common faults you can identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user manual to do this as models vary but the child lock is usually quite simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Test the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Check the drive motor.

To check these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and test the parts are working as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to run including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the dishwasher and access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your dishwasher not running, and this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to check that may stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. But if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered meaning the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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